Maryland Premises Liability for Visitors on Private Property

Private property is defined as property that is not open to the public. Typically, private property refers to residential property that is a person’s home or a property used as a home.

The liability for visitors on private in property in Maryland depends on the circumstances surrounding the location where an injury occurs. If you have been injured as a visitor on another’s private property, it is imperative that you consult with a knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible.

Invited Guest vs. Trespasser

An invited guest is typically referred to as a licensee. This is a social guest who is invited to a person’s home for any purpose. A trespasser is a person who is not lawfully on the premises. Further, if someone is injured in the private areas of a public building, they would likely be a trespasser.

There can be exceptions based upon the age of a child on a property. However, that depends on the age of the child, the child’s ability to know and understand their actions, the type of property involved, the nature and the extent of the injuries, and other factors.

For example, if a neighbor’s two-year-old child crawls over and falls into a pool, that is different than a 15-year old who climbs the neighbor’s fence in the middle of the night and drowns in a pool. The significance of premises liability for visitors on private property in Maryland is dependent on both the situation and location of the injury in question.

Liability of the Visitor

Because of the defense of contributory negligence and assumption of risk, the actions of the injured person or social guest are always evaluated in conjunction with premises liability cases.

Even if there is primary negligence by the homeowner, if the finder of fact determines that the injured person caused or contributed to their injuries even within one percent, that injured person is barred from recovering altogether. This is specific to premises liability cases for visitors on private property in Maryland.

Contributory Negligence

The majority of the country allows for comparative negligence, which means that the finder of fact can attribute a percentage of negligence to the plaintiff, the injured person, and the owner of the property. Damages are apportioned based on each party’s percentage of fault.

In Maryland, there is no comparative negligence; instead, it is a contributory negligence state like Virginia and the District of Columbia. Contributory negligence is essentially an all-or-nothing proposition in that if the injured person is at fault in any way for their injury or appreciated the risk that they are taking and yet assumes to go forward and is injured, the action of the injured person bars their recovery.

Maryland Private Property Premises Liability Lawyer